Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Kindergarten Screening: Aced by My 2 Year Old

Bored as a cord. That's what was screaming through my head as Mrs. Roldan ran through a few Kindergarten drills with Smartypants. During our casual meet and greet last week she asked Smartypants to sit with her so she could do "a quick screening."

Uh Oh I thought. Did we doom our kid to play catch up with his class by not preschooling? Is she going to ask him who the President is? (and would he say "Obama but I wanted John McCain to win because he looks like me" again?) Is he supposed to know his multiplication tables already? Should he know how to hold a pencil correctly (something no teacher was able to teach his mother)? Or for that matter, be sure which hand to hold the pencil with?

I figured she was starting out slow when she held out a crayon: What color is this? "Pink!" yelled Smartypants. Well, yes, the wrapper is pink, but what color is this part (points to the crayon tip)? Oh, red. She goes through a few more colors. Are there any I forgot? Smartypants reminds her: black and green.

Next up: Shapes. Like all four of them: circle, square, rectangle, triangle.

Numbers? Mrs. Roldan shows Smartypants a page with numbers 1 through 10. As he reads the numbers she points to, Sweetiepants chimes in: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 twelveteen....

Come to think of it she was yelling out crayon colors too. And "Circle!" So far my 2 year old is passing Kindergarten screening with flying colors.

Mrs. Roldan has Smartypants read rows of capital letters; he rattles them off so quickly she can't move her ruler fast enough. Then lower case letters--he misses q and calls b "d."

She raises her eyebrows and I wait for it--the condemnation: Well, we'll let him in but you'll have to work with him every night to bring him up to speed. Instead I hear: Wow! Has he had preschool? Um, no. So you must work with him a lot? No? But we read a lot and we talk A LOT. She goes on with so many praises and glowing remarks that I realize: this is not a kindly Kindergarten teacher's attaboy!--she's truly excited about how much Smartypants already knows.

Expected condemnation morphs in that moment to sweet sweet vindication.

Next up: First Day Of Kindergarten

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